The Australian Greens today confirmed the crossbench Senate bill to end live sheep exports will proceed on June 18 after the Independent Review of Conditions for the Export of Sheep’s failed to give recommendations that would guarantee that the mass deaths of sheep on live export ships will end.
“Minister David Littleproud effectively set this inquiry up to deliver recommendations that suit the interests of the live export industry,” Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.
“We have no doubt the review’s author Mr McCarthy conducted his investigations in good faith, however by not allowing the review to countenance a complete transition away from the trade, the Minister has ensured the review is stitch-up.
“Nobody seriously believes more ventilation will end the cruelty of heat stress and long haul travel, not even members of the Coalition.
“This is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The live sheep trade is going down and the Minister is failing to support farmers and processing plant owners to make an orderly transition to domestic processing.
“The boxed chilled meat trade is a win-win. It is a way to end the cruelty and boost jobs in regional Australia.
“We will proceed with the Senate bill to transition out of live sheep exports on June 18.”
Greens Leader Senator Richard Di Natale said the tide had turned on the cruel live export trade and that the Senate bill would provide certainty for Australia’s agricultural industry.
“Our transition plan will provide more work for people in the meat processing industry, while ensuring that no sheep need to endure the hellish journey over summer months,” Senator Di Natale said.
“Australians have overwhelmingly said that they want this trade to end. By pushing back against the inevitable, the Coalition government is only keeping local producers hanging.
“I call on Labor, the Liberals and all members of the crossbench to support the Senate bill to end this cruelty.”